President Obama announced at 11:35 pm EST that Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks on September 11, 2001 that killed more than 3,000 Americans, is dead.
“The images of 9-11 are seared into our national memory,” the President said. “Nearly 3000 citizens taken from us leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.”
The President said that soon after taking office he directed CIA director Leon Panetta to make the killing or capture of bin Laden a top priority. The President then recounted that in August, US intelligence received a lead with the help of the Pakistan government that bin Laden was living in a compound in Pakistan.
After evaluating the intelligence information, Obama said that he authorized an operation to go after bin Laden.
“This event does not mark the end of our effort,” President Obama said speaking about the war on terror. “But we must reaffirm that we are not and never will be at war with Islam.”
Obama gave few details but said that a team of American military members went to the suspected compound where bin Laden was hiding. After a firefight in which no Americans were harmed, bin Laden was killed and the American military team took possession of his body.
“Tonight justice has been done,” the President said.